FKA Twigs-M3LL155X (2015)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 86%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 89%

Average Rating: 88% (A-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Figure 8
  2. I’m Your Doll
  3. In Time
  4. Glass & Patron
  5. Mothercreep

Label:

Young Turks

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a more experimental laid back electronic album with awesome vocals.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Friggin’ rad.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really, just five songs, not gonna pay through the teeth for that.

Final Thoughts:

FKA Twigs is one of those few artists that have rose to fame and deserved it. Her music is really unique and experimental. Her vocals are amazing and her albums are always mysterious and short. M3LL155X is not her best work, but it’s a good sample of what she’s like. Incredibly sexual, cool electronic sounds, laid back vibes. The whole thing is put together very well, and marketed to the right crowd. It’s like Little Dragon met Madonna. FKA Twigs will never be one of my favourite artists, but I always enjoyed the tracks that she’s made.

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FIDLAR-Too (2015)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 58%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 76%

Average Rating: 74% (B-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 40oz. On Repeat
  2. Punks
  3. West Coast
  4. Why Generation
  5. Sober
  6. Leave Me Alone
  7. Drone
  8. Overdose
  9. Hey Johnny
  10. Stupid Decisions
  11. Bad Medicine
  12. Bad Habits

Label:

Mom + Pop Music, Wichita Recordings, Dine Alone Records

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Having a hard time connection with your generation.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty ugly, but fits their style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah.

Final Thoughts:

FIDLAR’s self titled album was friggin’ amazing. Here’s this new band singing about Cheap Beer and Cocaine and then they release a music video with Nick Offerman peeing on everything (fake penis and all). It was raw, weird, and it made you feel like you were on this trip with a bunch of crazy stoners. Then Too came out, and it was significantly watered down. If FIDLAR (album) was a bad trip, Too is a hissy fit, the lyricism takes a noticeable dive, but damn if it’s not still catchy as ever. FIDLAR’s Too wasn’t necessarily a misstep, but it went a little too accessible. I think this band will have a hard time finding itself upon its next release, do they want to be raw and unpredictable (please, please please) or do they want to be a band for high schoolers who are finding themselves? Only time will tell.

Sean Anonymous & Dimitry Killstorm-Better Days (2015)

My Rating: 58% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 58% (D+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Better Days
  2. 54 Bison
  3. They Be Like (Featuring Metasota)
  4. Big Bang (Featuring P.O.S & Lizzo)
  5. Invisible Ink
  6. What Is Your Name (Featuring Haphduzn & Del The Funky Homosapien)
  7. Pack Your Bags
  8. Begin, Begun
  9. Ring The Bell (Featuring Haphduzn, Phillip Morris, Aceyalone & Wordsworth)
  10. Like I Do
  11. Chapters
  12. Je T’aime
  13. Timeless

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Diggin’ for some underground hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love the album cover, really unique.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

I’m realizing with age how much confidence makes a difference in a lot of aspects of your life, and that’s the main problem with Better Days, the artists don’t seem completely confident yet. Not to say they’re bad, but they need some time to feel more comfortable behind the mic. No matter the featuring artist (Del, P.O.S., Aceyalone) the whole thing just is a little off. I can see Sean Anonymous gaining traction with a little more authority in his voice behind the mic, but this feels a little rough yet.

Tyler, The Creator-Cherry Bomb (2015)

My Rating: 42% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: 67%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 69%

Average Rating: 62%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. DEATHCAMP
  2. BUFFALO
  3. PILOT
  4. RUN
  5. FIND YOUR WINGS
  6. CHERRY BOMB
  7. BLOW MY LOAD
  8. 2SEATER
  9. THE BROWN STAINS OF DARKEESE LATIFAH PART 6-12 (REMIX)
  10. FUCKING YOUNG / PERFECT
  11. SMUCKERS
  12. KEEP DA O’S
  13. OKAGA, CA

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

I don’t know, half asleep?

Thoughts on Album Cover:

This album cover was actually the first thing that convinced me to check Tyler out.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

Before I was even listening to Tyler, The Creator, I remember reading an interview with him about the negative reception of this album. He said something along the lines as people being upset about what he was rapping about now, saying that he used to rap about having to live with his grandma and that just wasn’t his life after becoming an artist. Of course that makes sense, your art will change dependent on how your life changes, but I don’t think that’s why it was negatively received, it was received negatively because it’s not a good album. Seriously Cherry Bomb just isn’t a good album, it’s boring, it’s kind of R&B at times, and most the album I was waiting for Tyler to start going hard on the mic, but whenever he did, which is a rare moment on Cherry Bomb, it was too little too late. I’m glad Tyler didn’t keep going down this road. Boring album.

San Cisco-Gracetown (2015)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Run
  2. Too Much Time Together
  3. Magic
  4. Snow
  5. Wash It All Away
  6. Bitter Winter
  7. Jealousy
  8. Super Slow
  9. Mistakes
  10. About You
  11. Skool
  12. Just For A Minute

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing some happy music.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I actually love these guys’ covers, they always look super artsy and cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes.

Final Thoughts:

When it comes to bouncy stupid pop music, San Cisco is my go to. They’re the embodiment of the rule “keep it simple stupid”. Their albums are exactly what I want pop to be: fun, happy, catchy, not too repetitive, not too experimental. They aim for their mark and they hit it on Gracetown. The album is a great example of what pop should be, a genre you can put on in a mall or restaurant without offending anyone. Is Gracetown going to go down in history as an influential album? Absolutely not. But there’s something to be said about making an album that aims for a genre and gets it 100% correct, no need to get fancy with the spices, this is pure pop.

Tame Impala-Currents (2015)

My Rating: 81 (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 93%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Let It Happen
  2. Nangs
  3. The Moment
  4. Yes I’m Changing
  5. Eventually
  6. Gossip
  7. The Less I Know The Better
  8. Past Life
  9. Disciples
  10. ‘Cause I’m A Man
  11. Reality In Motion
  12. Love Paranoia
  13. New Person, Same Old Mistakes

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood for a mix between psychedelic electronic and pop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome, I really like how you can picture what kind of album you’re getting into with the cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah if it was a good price.

Final Thoughts:

Tame Impala is a group that a lot of my friend circle absolutely love, but I never really checked them out, except for the occasional song I’d hear at breweries or other hipster-esque places I frequent. Currents is a really solid album, it’s unique but not in a way that really pulls me away from the chill vibes they’re aiming for. Pop, psychedelic, and electronic fans will all be represented on Currents, and that’s probably the strong part of the album, it caters to a wide audience without pinpointing their sound to one genre. I’m not officially a Tame Impala advocate, Currents is really solid but the likeliness of me going out of my way for a show is still fairly low. The next album I check out should tip the scales to either be a casual listener, or an official fan.

Blueprint-King No Crown (2015)

My Rating: 70% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Landing
  2. The Talented Tenth
  3. Unbreakable
  4. Trump Tight
  5. Nothing Like This
  6. Not Afraid of The Dark
  7. They Like Power
  8. Black Intellectual
  9. Persevere
  10. Fist Fight
  11. King No Crown
  12. Live For Today
  13. As Long As It Takes
  14. Maybe My Generation feat. Illogic
  15. Great Eyedeas Never Die

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the need of some inspiration to keep pushing through.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s alright, it seems familiar, it’s not doing a lot for me but it’s not especially bad either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, most underground hip hop would be rad to have on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Blueprint is yet another emcee that Rhymesayers Entertainment should be proud to call their own. Although not nearly as renowned or popular as other label mates, Blueprint seems content to do his music for his fans and himself. His albums aren’t ground breaking, they’re all pretty much the same thing honestly, but there’s something comforting about knowing what you’re getting into with Blueprint. I think the ending of the song Persevere really gets to the heart of Blueprint’s attitude when it comes to releasing music: “you don’t have to bend the whole world, you just have to enjoy it, pay your dues and enjoy it.Blueprint isn’t going to break charts, he’s not going to be my favourite emcee, but I’m always happy to tune into his newest work and put him on my shuffle.

Busdriver-Thumbs (2015)

My Rating: 63% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 63%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Hottentot Supercluster feat. Zeroh & Kaveh Rastegar
  2. Black Labor (as understood by Equiano)
  3. Hyperbolic 2
  4. MUCH
  5. Ministry of the Torture Couch feat. Hemlock Ernst
  6. Worlds to Run feat. milo & Anderson .Paak
  7. Skit
  8. Surrounded by Millionaires feat. Daveed Diggs
  9. Great Spooks of Enormous Strength
  10. Del’s Couch feat. Del the Funky Homosapien
  11. Shadows and Victories feat. Jeremiah Jae
  12. NY 03 LIVE feat. Caural
  13. Species of Property
  14. Two Feet in the Layered Cake feat. Kool A.D.
  15. Answering Machinist feat. Jeremiah Jae

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to dig deep into The Good Life emcees.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love this cover, it reminds me of some of the spirit characters on Miyazaki films.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nope.

Final Thoughts:

Busdriver is an impressive emcee, there’s no doubt about that, don’t believe/trust me? Listen to Me – Time and shut your face. The thing that separates Busdriver from other wordy rhymers, such as Aesop Rock and MF Doom, is his inability to make a solid album. He has a few tracks that are fun on each album, but he can’t make one that demands more than one listen. He’s a great artist that seems to be wandering a little aimlessly. This is the time where I think a concept album with a famous beat maker would really help Busdriver make an album of note. Let’s see a Danger Mouse and Busdriver collab, please!

Doomtree-All Hands (2015)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 71%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 62%

Average Rating: 76%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Final Boss
  2. My Own Nation
  3. .38 Airweight
  4. Gray Duck
  5. Heavy Rescue
  6. 80 On 80
  7. Mini Brute
  8. Cabin Killer
  9. Beastface
  10. The Bends
  11. Generator
  12. Off In The Deep
  13. Marathon
  14. High Water

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a hip hop album with lots going on at once.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a beautiful looking cover, I’d be stoked to have it in my collection.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I need to own more Hip-Hop on vinyl (yes I want it).

Final Thoughts:

Doomtree is a hip-hop super-group (at least in my eyes), Sims, P.O.S., and Dessa are all artists with amazing solo work, so to have them all in the same group making music is kind of a big deal for me. Granted I got into Doomtree before their solo careers but now that I’ve researched more I almost forgot that these guys all worked together. They take things in a different direction on All Hands, keeping the lyrics abstract and the percussion raw, they get much more electronic than I’m used to hearing them, which was a good move because they now can appeal to a larger audience. Old fans may be a little let down with the new sound but I’m on board and excited to hear these guys push themselves as a group and as individual artists.

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